Sunday, October 26, 2014

From Squash to Penguin: DIY

When life gives you lemons, you make lemonade, right? But when life gave me a funky looking squash, I made a penguin. Just me or...? I made this because I wanted to make something unique for a teacher of mine for Halloween, and she loves penguins. I thought it would make a nice gift or a cute fall decoration, so on the blog it goes! Also, making it was quite fun. I never would have thought I'd be painting a squash at some point in my life.

Let's get to it! First, get a squash that resembles a penguin as much as possible. This could very well be the hardest part. I got mine from the local Harris Teeter, and wow, so many to choose from! There were some really strange ones...

but I was lucky enough to find this little guy:

After you've picked your squash, get some acrylic paint in the following colors: black, white, red, yellow, and blue (for the eyes). If you have orange, you don't need red and yellow, I didn't have it, so I just mixed the red and yellow paint to make orange. But if you want to make your penguin different colors, go for it! Then get your other paint supplies, like brushes, a cup of water to clean the brushes, and something you can organize your paint on. You'll also need some kind of glue (I used superglue), scissors, and a toilet paper roll for the feet and the stand.

Alright, now time to paint! I held the head while I painted the rest of the body and waited for the body to dry. Make sure to cover all those lumps 'n bumps! By the time you finish this, your squash will look pretty suited up.

After the paint dries completely, hold the body gently and paint the head. Make sure the paint dries on the head before adding the eyes. This goes for any new layer of paint. 

While it's drying, you can make the stand. I cut the toilet paper in half to make two mini-toilet paper rolls. I took one of the rolls and cut it to a size that I liked, then painted the outside white. I painted a messy line of blue at the bottom so the stand would look like ice on the water. After the paint dried, I cut slits all along one side of the roll and folded them in. This is important! If you don't do this, the edge of the roll is too sharp and might cut into the paint (trust me, that actually happened before I came up with this).

Now for the feet! Use what's left of the toilet paper roll and cut out two feet. Then paint the feet, let them dry, and superglue them to the bottom of the squash. I've never been good with superglue, so of course I got it on my hands. Not exactly the most pleasant feeling. If you want, you can cut and paint wings and glue them to the sides of the penguin. I didn't because I was pretty much done with superglue at this point. Once the glue dries (so much drying involved in this), you can plop your penguin on its stand.  

And now you're finished! Say hello to your little penguin creation. 

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Pumpkins and Pomegranates

It's that time of year again! Halloween is just around the corner and pumpkin carving is at its peak.Why not carve pomegranates too? Pumpkins are in season, but so are pomegranates. Personally, I think they look quite similar. I mean, just look at it! Originally we were just going to peel it, but then this sort of happened.The pomegranate sure looks happy about it. And just like a pumpkin, you can eat the seeds. Yum!

Friday, October 24, 2014

Flies: Up Close and Personal

I happen to be in an AP Biology class (it's torturous, but it can be fun at times), so of course, we have to do labs. But today's lab in particular was a rather strange one, specifically, a fly lab. We had to choose what types of flies we wanted to study, so my group chose white flies and wild flies. We chose them because together they sound like Wet 'n Wild...I know, so scientific. Anyway, we looked at these flies under a microscope. Of course, they were unconscious while we worked with them. But even then, I got a little squirmish seeing so many flies in the petri dishes. I hadn't even looked at them under the microscope yet. I finally mustered up the courage to peep into the microscope, and AH!   

The flies were so huge! I admit, even though I thought it was creepy, it was incredible seeing such small organisms up close. I could see every detail, whether I wanted to or not. One of them even started to twitch, or as one of my group members said, "It's twerking!" Fun times.

So what did we do with the flies after? Unfortunately (or fortunately, depending on your attitude towards flies) we had to euthanize the parent groups. I was assigned the awful task of dumping them into the alcohol. I felt like I was committing genocide. Okay, that was a little dramatic, but you know what I mean. Strangely, at home I will squash any bug I see immediately, but in this lab, I felt bad about it. Somehow, by looking at them in the microscope and studying them, I couldn't kill them.

Someone else ended up doing it for me, so luckily I was not the Hitler of the flies today. I did have to make food for our remaining flies though so they could breed, or as out teacher eloquently put it: "They've got work to do." Oh dear. 

Welcome to The Life Bubble

Hello there and welcome to my blog! I'm not quite sure what this blog is going to be about. Perhaps just a glimpse into my life, a couple odd ramblings, and some things I really love, but we'll see where it goes.